Evangelisation Is Out Of Fashion, Says Cardinal Tauran
“In this pluralistic situation, we have no other option than consciously cultivating friendly relationships with all of them based on mutual respect and understanding that eventually could lead to mutual collaboration for the common good, for peace and harmony towards the development of the society. This is all what interreligious dialogue is about: Being rooted in our own faith, cultivating, despite differences, harmonious relationships among believers of diverse religions and collaborating with them for the good of humanity with shared values and convictions.”
These aren’t my words, but those of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council of Inter-religious Dialogue.
One is reminded of Jesus’ words:
“Go ye therefore, and dialogue with all nations, making friends among them and collaborating with them in the name of humanity”
Or perhaps it was:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”
Well, one of the two, anyway; though we do not want to be too fussy here. We are not stuck in the Forties, you know.
The Cardinal’s thinking is very simple: Jesus said to the Apostles to go and convert people of other religions everywhere, but he obviously did not have in mind our modern pluralistic and inclusive society. Nowadays, you might have colleagues and be in contact with people of, believe it or not, other religious convictions; a situation, you will understand, clearly unknown in Jesus’ time.
Now, whilst Our Lord’s suggestion certainly had its own validity in his own times, nowadays we must consider the necessity to “consciously cultivating friendly relationships based on mutual respect and understanding”. It is, of course, highly advisable that you have friends among your, say, Hindu colleagues. But you must not make the mistake of thinking that their conversion be a desirable end.
Your friendship will, on the contrary, be “based on mutual respect and understanding” and have this aim, that it may one day lead to “mutual collaboration for the common good”. If we allow the fact that Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life to come into the equation, strife and controversy will ensue! Jesus cannot have wanted that! Jesus was meek, therefore he would never have tried to disrespect people of other religious convictions by trying to impose on them His own view!
Remember, Christ did not come with a sword, he came to bring peace! (I’ll have to check this one, but take it from me…).
You see, you do not talk with people who do not know or acknowledge Christ’s divinity in the middle of a Country with strong Christian traditions – and are therefore at more or less concrete risk of damnation – in order to convert them. God forbid! What we want to achieve is
“peace and harmony towards the development of the society”
You see, there are people around who are stuck in the Forties and think that Christ always comes first. But they are clearly wrong, and nowadays we are “concerned” about them. Heck, these people even count their rosaries! Go figure! They think like Perl… erm… Pale… erm… Pelagians!
You see, this is why we haven’t mentioned Conversion or Evangelisation with one word. It would have been controversial! Nay, it would have been provocative! We don’t do “provocative”, we do peace and harmony, please check the above! And come on, is the risk of damnation so big? Don’t be a Perl… Pale… erm, one of those people!
In the end, why should we impose our convictions on those good souls! Aren’t these souls who “do good”?
This is the “New Evangelisation”, folks.
How superior to the strange, old ideas of those rosary-counters!